Today, Stichting Digitale Infrastructuur Nederland (DINL) presented a report by Deloitte, which was conducted at the initiative of DINL and other parties. The Dutch digital hub currently provides more jobs than the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Amsterdam Airport but if the Netherlands fails to further embrace the digital sector as an economic opportunity, other countries will be able to take a quick lead as enablers of the global digital economy.
The report shows that the Netherlands has a unique global position as an international hub for data and delivery of digital services. This digital hub consists of international datacentres, internet exchanges and cloud and connectivity providers and is embedded in the overall digital infrastructure. It is now the largest hub of the Netherlands and the foundation of both the Dutch and increasingly the international digital economy.
Given the fact that the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport have both had over a century to grow into the important hubs they represent today, it is remarkable that the Dutch digital hub was able to outpace both industries in just 20 years.
Urgency to invest
Worldwide, there is a great need for services that enable the transition to a digital economy. This partly explains the success of the Netherlands as a gateway to Europe, but this does not mean that other countries are idle.
In addition to awareness and consistency, investments based on a long term vision are paramount. In fields such as research in photonics, cyber security and core internet technology, in the field of innovation and establishing new tech companies, and strengthening the promotion of the Netherlands as a digital gateway to Europe. Stijn Grove, director of the Dutch Datacentre Association: “The government has a role to play, because there is a common good at stake. The digital sector must be embraced soon, otherwise we will lose to our neighbouring countries, which are very well aware of what is happening in this field in the Netherlands.”